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NEW APPLES DON'T FALL FAR...

Flyers newest charges - Lecavalier, Emery and Streit - already talking like Snider

Tuesday, 07.09.2013 / 9:51 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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NEW APPLES DON\'T FALL FAR...
PHILADELPHIA -- Ed Snider stood there, hands in his pockets listening to one question after another from the small gathering of media.\r\n\r\nSome asked about Fred Shero, the late, great Flyers coach who finally was getting inducted into the hockey Hall of Fame. Some asked about the Flyers newest charges, whether it was Vincent Lecavalier, Ray Emery or Mark Streit, all of whom were just introduced for the first time in a press conference.\r\n\r\nAnd then one question came. It was rather innocuous. One that one wouldn\u2019t have thought would have garnered much of a tasty quote from the Flyers chairman.\r\n\r\n\u201CHow excited for you for the new season,\u201D the inquisitor asked.

PHILADELPHIA -- Ed Snider stood there, hands in his pockets listening to one question after another from the small gathering of media.

Some asked about Fred Shero, the late, great Flyers coach who finally was getting inducted into the hockey Hall of Fame. Some asked about the Flyers newest charges, whether it was Vincent Lecavalier, Ray Emery or Mark Streit, all of whom were just introduced for the first time in a press conference.

And then one question came. It was rather innocuous. One that one wouldn’t have thought would have garnered much of a tasty quote from the Flyers chairman.

“How excited for you for the new season,” the inquisitor asked.

Like the old E.F. Hutton commercials, when Ed Snider talks, people listen. And when his players talk after him, even if they've been in town for less than a day, they sound the same trumpet as the chairman.

“I’m very excited,” Snider said, almost as if on vocabulary autopilot. But then he stopped himself and cocked his head to the side. You could almost see the light bulb flicker on. It was in that moment, that instant, that pregnant pause that as an observer who has watched Snider talk publicly countless times, that you could sense a memorable answer was brewing.

“I’m excited every year,” Snider said. “But this year is different. This year I’m especially excited. We added three great players without having to give up any of our young players, our prospects or our draft picks. We improved our team and we didn’t have to give up anything to do it. That’s what has me most excited and now we expect to win.”

While Snider certainly meant none of the young corps of players on the roster when he referenced the team not having to give anything up, someone reminded him that he’s spending more than $25 million dollars (albeit over 14 years) to have Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere not play for him anymore.

“Isn’t that a lot of money,” the questioner asked.

At which point, Snider slid his hands back in his pockets, shrugged his shoulders, smiled and said, “We’re all still eating three square ones a day, aren’t we? But, we expect to win now.”

It was classic Snider – telling you that money is no object – but reminding you that if he’s spending that much money he needs a greater return on his investment.

And that message isn’t lost on anyone, not even the new guys.

“That’s one of the things that I really liked about the Flyers that made me want to come here,” said Lecavalier, adorning his new, No. 40 jersey. “This is a hockey town with great fans, great traditions and a commitment to winning every year.

“When I used to come here [with the Tampa Bay Lightning], I hated playing here. It was such a tough arena to play in. The players and the fans always seemed to feed off each other and make it hard on the visiting team. I’m glad I’m on the other side of that now.”

So is Emery, who left the defending Stanley Cup Champions to return to Philadelphia, where he has several great relationships, especially with assistant coach John Paddock, who both coached him and was an executive with the Senators during Emery’s time in Ottawa.

Ditto Mark Streit, who at age 35, said he signed a four-year deal with the Flyers because he wanted what could be his final contract to be with a team who has a shot to win the Stanley Cup.

“Last year in New York [with the Islanders] was nice,” Streit said. “But I knew I wanted to move on and go somewhere where there is a commitment to winning. When they traded me to the Flyers, it was exactly what I was looking for and that’s why I was comfortable with a longer deal.”

Streit said simply playing for the Flyers is a motivation to be as good as he can be, but said he also wants to prove that even though he’s already 35, that he can still play at a high level and excel in the right situation – and the Flyers are just that in his mind.

“I’ve only been in the league eight years,” he said. “I’m in very good shape. I feel really good. I’m not worried about my health this year or next year or the years after that. But, I do want to show people that I can play and that I can play well for the length of my contract. I want to prove it, and if that helps the team be successful, then that’s good too.”

It’s a mindset. It’s a way of life in hockey. And for the Flyers, it’s a state of being. It’s one that starts at the top with Snider and it permeates throughout the whole organization. It’s contagious.

“We’re going to have a very good team,” Streit said. “I’m really excited.”

And with that, he shoved his hands in his pockets and smiled. Seems like even that little bit of Snider rubs off on his newest players right away.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 49 17 40 11 57
C. Giroux 48 16 36 6 52
M. Streit 49 7 28 -2 35
W. Simmonds 49 17 12 -5 29
B. Schenn 49 10 19 -3 29
S. Couturier 49 10 12 -1 22
M. Read 49 3 15 -9 18
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
M. Del Zotto 37 4 11 -7 15
V. Lecavalier 35 7 7 -10 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 9 12 6 .921 2.41
R. Emery 8 9 1 .887 3.38
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